1. nitwof25
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    nitwof25 New Member

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    What's in a Chapter?

    Discussion in 'General Writing' started by nitwof25, Nov 28, 2012.

    Hello to all aspiring authors and writing enthusiasts,

    I am very new to the possibility or probabilty that any of my ideas may ever one day be published, however, that is not going to keep me from trying. I have a few questions before I dive into assembling my ideas onto paper and pounding my thoughts into readable material. As said earlier, I am new, and the biggest road block I have come across so far is the compilation of chapters. what goes in a chapter? How is the general layout prepared? This for me seems to be the hardest part.

    As with any advise and comments, all are welcome and appreciated.

    Thanks in advance.
     
  2. captain kate
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    captain kate Active Member

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    I've heard people call chapters short stories within the larger story. Personally, I look at them as a scene in a movie. There's a start, then the action, and then either a conclusion of a cliffhanger. It's all up to author's preferences.

    Sometimes a scene is so large that it needs to be split into two chapters, which is when you'll have to decide, or create, a place where the action can logically be cut off the end one chapter and start another. This can control your pacing or give a reader a breather.
     
  3. minstrel
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    minstrel Leader of the Insquirrelgency Staff Supporter Contributor

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    It seems pretty arbitrary to me. I've seen novels with highly-organized chapters, each devoted to a single, well-defined scene. I've also seen novels with chapters that are sometimes only a sentence or two long, as if the writer decided those sentences were so important they deserved their own chapter - this kind of thing reminds of a rock concert in which the bassist gets a little eight-bar solo every once in a while.

    Each writer is free to organize his chapters any what he wishes, I suppose. Steinbeck has used chapters as history lessons or philosophical essays. Melville has used them as lessons on whales and whaling. Others use them simply as scenes.
     
  4. nitwof25
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    nitwof25 New Member

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    Thanks alot for the info. My biggest fear is having a chapter that could have been easier made into two or three seperate ones. My first thoughts for example are decription of the area and minor main character intoduction. I want his identity shrouded at first. I guess thats what might be throwing me off a bit.

    Again, thanks for the advice
     
  5. mammamaia
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    mammamaia nit-picker-in-chief Contributor

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    you can find out for yourself, by just studying the makeup of chapters in novels by the best authors...
     
  6. Mikewritesfic
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    Mikewritesfic Senior Member

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    A chapter's contents can include anything you want, just as long as it moves the story forward. Some writers dedicate an entire chapter to describing a setting that will figure into the story greatly.That's just one example, not a recommendation.
     

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